Firmware Friday: Ricoh GR gets shiny new features; Nikon adds new lens support


posted Friday, January 24, 2014 at 7:27 PM EDT


Friday's here, and this week it brings with it a veritable firmware frenzy -- no less than four large-sensor cameras have received updates this week. Our Firmware Friday roundup includes three Nikon DSLRs, as well as a large-sensor compact from Ricoh. We also have a warning regarding security of webcams and baby monitors from a Chinese manufacturer, Foscam.

We'll start with the Ricoh GR, simply because its update is the most exciting. The Japanese company is a big fan of rewarding its loyal customers with what it refers to as function-enhancing firmware updates. In a nutshell, each of these updates adds a handful of brand-new features that let you use your camera in new ways, and improve the shooting experience.

This time around there are six new features for the Ricoh GR in firmware version 3.00:

  • Shutter speed can now be adjusted in 1/3 EV steps when the ISO Step Setting is set to 1/3 EV

  • A new custom image effect called "Slight" has been added, yielding less saturated color

  • An Ambient Brightness option has been added in the Setup menu, which attempts to mimic the look provided by Ricoh GR film cameras

  • The Key Custom Options menu now allows you to select an AF mode for the AEL/AFL button -- Spot, Multi, or Pinpoint

  • Through the Setup menu, you can now select between standard folder naming, or date-based folder naming

  • A new Aspect Ratio option in the Playback raw development function allows export of JPEG images with 4:3 or 1:1 aspect ratio, instead of the native 3:2 aspect.

You'll find more details and the firmware update itself on the Ricoh America Downloads & Literature page.

Next up, we have Nikon's three updates for the Nikon Df, Nikon D5200, and Nikon D3200.

The D5200 and D3200 updates add support for retractable lenses such as the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6G VR II, with the camera being able to report an error and prevent shutter release when the lens barrel isn't extended. That's it for the D3200 update, but the D5200 also gets fixes for incorrect 35mm-equivalent focal length recorded in the EXIF data of images, and for three shooting issues. With the latest update, the D5200 should no longer lock up when adding options to the My Menu, should always focus when the AE-L/AF-L button is pressed with AF-ON set, and should no longer have an unwanted line present at bottom right of in-camera HDR images.

The Nikon Df, meanwhile, gets fixes for incorrect display of ISO sensitivity in ViewNX 2 and Capture NX 2 if Auto ISO was disabled, inavailability of the Preview function when shooting through the viewfinder with a Speedlight SB-800 flash attached, and an inadvertent 1/200 second shutter speed limit when a flash without Auto FP support was attached and the flash sync speed set to 1/250 second.

You can get Nikon's updates at the links below:

And finally, we come to that warning. If you're using a webcam or baby monitor from Foscam -- or perhaps one they've manufactured as an OEM for another brand -- you might want to stop, at least until you've installed new firmware. A gaping hole in the cameras' password protection, reports KrebsonSecurity, will allow anyone to access your camera's feed if you're using version 0.54 firmware -- and all they have to do is click the "OK" button for access without entering a username or password. A new firmware update, version 0.55, is available but this too has problems. Once installed, random strangers won't be able to access the camera, but they'll still be able to stop you using it by simply trying to log in unsuccessfully until the camera locks up. More details here.

(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license.)